Paul Lewis – Principal, Founder
A LEED Accredited Professional, Paul Lewis has over 20 years of experience specializing in landscape design, landscape architecture and site planning. His specialty is creating landscapes that fit the site and architecture, enhance views, create natural doors and windows in the garden, and play with the tapestry of light and dark, sun and shadows.
His project portfolio spans commercial, retail, mixed-use, entertainment, recreational, residential, and educational facilities, and he is particularly adept at taking on challenging projects, whether hillside, rooftop, or complicated programs in small spaces. Widely respected for his sensitivity to site and architecture, he was given a City of Los Angeles Commendation for his work on the CSUN Sculpture Garden
Mr. Lewis has a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
He is a California licensed landscape architect, a LEED Accredited Professional, an allied affiliate member of the American Institute of Architects and a member of the United States Green Building Council.
After over twenty years in professional practice, he is at a point in his career where he wants to give back to the profession in the form of teaching and research. He currently teaches History of Landscape Architecture at UCLA Extension. He affirms: “I have much to offer based on a diverse twenty years of practice. I see teaching as a process based on an ongoing conversation that began several hundred years ago, that today’s students will carry into the future. This conversation is not just rooted in historical garden design and urban design of the past, but looks to the future of our profession.”
He believes, that landscape architecture is rooted in social change, having influenced the way cities developed and showing the potential for cities to better meet the needs of their populations in the future.
Balance and social responsibility
Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac has influenced Paul in his views about landscape architecture. If the landscape and environment are in balance, it is right. He finds himself going back to Aldo Leopold as a resource and his view that we must maintain the balance in nature for nature and, by extension, for humanity to survive.
Landscape architecture is design and an understanding and ability to apply ecology, planning, sociology, politics, and psychology into a context that assists us in completing our projects. The future of landscape architecture will continue to be a synthesis of art and science influencing both natural and human environments. However, it will continue also to increasingly include social responsibility to improve the human condition.
“In 2003, as my mentor Courtland Paul was living his last days; I went to visit him every couple of days in the hospital. As I was leaving on my first visit, he said, “Bring some work next time.” Two days later I showed up with a project. On my visits, I kept returning with different projects, not because I wanted to get every bit of advice, but because he wanted to continue the conversation. This conversation will continue as those thinking about landscape architecture continue discussing, questioning, and testing design principles. As a teacher and mentor of students I will bring them into this conversation. This conversation needs to prepare the students for the profession with skills required to be successful. I identify three areas that require specific skills as Design, Business and Social Responsibility,” Paul remembers.
Paul remembers his last meeting with one of his favorite mentors: “The last time I saw Cort, he was quite weak and his heart was failing, but his spirit was strong. We watched a few minutes of the Super Bowl, talked about the importance of family and friends and discussed yet another project—continuing the landscape conversation. As I was leaving, he told me to remember to bring another project next time. I bring that project every day.”